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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free

In Education, Tech and Social Media on 25/05/2012 at 19:48

All education is self-education.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop.  We don’t learn anything we don’t want to learn. Those people who take the time and initiative to pursue knowledge on their own are the only ones who earn a real education in this world.  Take a look at any widely acclaimed scholar, entrepreneur or historical figure you can think of.  Formal education or not, you’ll find that he or she is a product of continuous self-education. If you’re interested in learning something new, this article is for you.  Broken down by subject and/or category, here are several top-notch self-education resources I have bookmarked online over the past few years. Note that some of the sources overlap between various subjects of education.  Therefore, each has been placed under a specific subject based on the majority focus of the source’s content.

Science and Health

  • MIT OpenCourseWare – MIT OpenCourseWare is a free web-based publication of MIT course materials that reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT.
  • Tufts OpenCourseWare – Tufts OpenCourseWare is part of a new educational movement initiated by MIT that provides free access to course content for everyone online.  Tufts’ course offerings demonstrate the University’s strength in the life sciences in addition to its multidisciplinary approach, international perspective and underlying ethic of service to its local, national and international communities.
  • HowStuffWorks Science – More scientific lessons and explanations than you could sort through in an entire year.
  • Harvard Medical School Open Courseware – The mission of the Harvard Medical School Open Courseware Initiative is to exchange knowledge from the Harvard community of scholars to other academic institutions, prospective students, and the general public.
  • Khan Academy – Over 1200 videos lessons covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, and biology.
  • Open Yale Courses – Open Yale Courses provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the internet.  The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences. (cont … MarcAndAngel.com)

‘Elite’ stereotypes can stymie success in kids

In Education, Uncategorized on 25/05/2012 at 16:08

“These findings suggest we should be cautious in making pronouncements about the abilities of social groups such as boys and girls,” says study leader Andrei Cimpian. “Not only is the truth of such statements questionable, but they also send the wrong message about what it takes to succeed, thereby undermining achievement—even when they are actually meant as encouragement.”

U. ILLINOIS (US) —Generalizations about the skills or likely success of a social group—of boys or girls, for example—can sometimes undermine performance, a new study shows.

“Some children believe that their ability to perform a task is dictated by the amount of natural talent they possess for that task,” says University of Illinois psychology professor Andrei Cimpian, who led the study published in the journalPsychological Science.

“Previous studies have demonstrated that this belief can undermine their performance. It is important, therefore, to understand what leads children to adopt this belief,” adds Cimpian.

The researchers hypothesized that exposure to broad generalizations about the abilities of social groups induces children to believe that success depends on “natural talent.” If the hypothesis were correct, then hearing messages such as “girls are very good at this task,” should impair children’s performance by leading them to believe that success depends primarily on innate talent and has little to do with factors under their control, such as effort.

Two experiments with 4- to 7-year-olds showed that the children performed more poorly after they were exposed to information that associated success on a given task with membership in a certain social group, regardless of whether the children themselves belonged to that group.

“These findings suggest we should be cautious in making pronouncements about the abilities of social groups such as boys and girls,” Cimpian says.

“Not only is the truth of such statements questionable, but they also send the wrong message about what it takes to succeed, thereby undermining achievement—even when they are actually meant as encouragement.”

The research team also included scientists from Sun Yat-sen University, in Guangdong, China; and Carnegie Mellon University. (cont … Futurity.org)

How Green Dot Charter Turned Around L.A.’s Worst Schools

In Culture, Education on 15/05/2012 at 07:11

At L.A.’s worst high schools, gangs controlled the bathrooms and students regularly set hanging artwork on fire. Today, Green Dot Public Schools have dramatically increased graduation rates and college preparedness at a fraction of the cost. Here’s how they did it.

“We treat each principal like the CEO of the school,” says Marco Petruzzi, CEO of Green Dot Public Schools, which has undertaken the ambitious task of turning around Los Angeles’s worst schools, all while keeping a unionized teaching force and spending roughly a fourth as much on each college-ready graduate as the city did before.

Rather than centrally manage every school, each Green Dot charter is run like a startup: The staff is given broad discretionary powers over finance, faculty are given the reins to innovate with a new curriculum, and the union contract is performance-based rather than a guarantee of minimum work requirements. To maintain its unusual level of collaboration, a Green Dot overhaul physically splits schools into autonomous units of around 500 students (in some cases, by using chicken wire for temporary walls).

A UCLA-Gates Foundation study released today shows that Green Dot’s prescription is paying off, with 25% higher graduation rates (80% vs. 55%) and 35% higher college readiness (48% vs. 13%). Green Dot even managed to bring sanity to one of L.A.’s worst schools, Locke, where rival gangs maintained control over bathrooms and students regularly set hanging artwork on fire.

Green Dot’s example has impressed educators. “I would love the culture where it’s the fear not to do it better, as opposed to the fear to try it differently,” says John Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is trying to instill Green Dot’s sense of urgent innovation into the culture of the nation’s second-largest school district. (cont … Fast Company)